HORSHAM police have praised volunteers for helping a man who drowned after trying to retrieve a remote-controlled boat from the Wimmera River on Saturday.
First Constable Louise Grant said police were called to the scene, near the corner of Bennett Road and Barnes Boulevard in Horsham at 1.10pm.
But she said rescue efforts started well before police arrived.
“A lady across the road heard him calling for help,” she said.
First Const Grant said the woman dialled 000 while her husband ran over to help the Horsham man, 44.
She said the wife joined her husband at the Wimmera River soon afterwards.
“When they got to him, he was still conscious,” she said.
Meanwhile, First Const Grant said two passers-by also noticed the unfolding events, dropped what they were doing and rushed to the couple’s aid.
She said four people plunged into the deep water, retrieved the man and dragged him up the river bank, where they started CPR.
“It would have been a very tough ask to get him out of the water,” she said.
“He was right in the middle of the river.”
First Const Grant said the man had been playing with a remote-controlled toy boat, which either broke or stopped working.
She said the man found himself in trouble while trying to retrieve it.
The volunteers did CPR until emergency services arrived and took over.
Paramedics rushed the man to Wimmera Base Hospital, where he later died.
First Const Grant said people spent 90 minutes at the scene, trying to save the man’s life.
“It definitely restored your faith in human beings,” she said.
She said police were preparing a report for the coroner.
The man’s identity has not been released.